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The most commonly reported side effects of Marinol include feeling "high," stomach complaints, and drowsiness. Some people develop a tolerance to this medication and such problems eventually diminish. Dosing can also be a factor in whether a person experiences side effects. If you experience difficulty breathing, an irregular heartbeat, seizures, or other potentially serious problems, contact your healthcare provider right away.

An Introduction to Marinol Side Effects

Just like any medicine, Marinol® (dronabinol) can cause side effects. Many of these reactions are dose-related. This means that higher doses can lead to more side effects. Some people will develop a tolerance to this medication over time and these problems will diminish. If side effects do occur, your healthcare provider can adjust your dose to try and reduce them.
 
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Marinol. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
 

Common Side Effects of Marinol

Marinol has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, one group of people received the real medication, while another group was given a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients). As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the placebo.
 
In these studies, the most common reactions to Marinol included:
 
  • A "high" (easily laughing, feeling elated, and having heightened awareness) -- in up 24 percent of people
  • Stomach problems, including nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain (stomach pain) -- up to 3 to 10 percent
  • Drowsiness -- up to 10 percent
  • Dizziness -- up to 10 percent
  • Euphoria (an unusual pleasant feeling) -- up to 10 percent
  • Feeling paranoid -- up to 10 percent
  • Abnormal thinking -- up to 10 percent.
     
Other common side effects (occurring in 1 to 3 percent of people) included:
 
  • Muscle weakness
  • Feelings of a rapidly or forcefully beating heart (heart palpitations)
  • Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Facial flushing
  • Memory problems, forgetfulness, or confusion
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren't there)
  • Unsteadiness or incoordination
  • Feeling disconnected or detached from one's body or thoughts (depersonalization).
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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